Citation: FraterAletheos1713. "It Was The Best Of Times, The Worst Of Times: An Experience with Alcohol, Vinpocetine & Methylphenidate (Ritalin) (ID 62265)". Erowid.org. May 10, 2007. erowid.org/exp/62265
I've been using substances recreationally for approximately a year, including Alcohol, Cannabis, Salvia Divinorum, Amanita Muscaria, LSD, Piracetam, and finally of late, Vinpocetine on its own and a Vinpocetine-Ginkgo Biloba combo. I generally keep very detailed records of all that occurs, Shulgin-style.
But this night, I had initially decided that I wanted to get tipsy. I was in a generally OK mood at the beginning (my set was decent), and the college campus on which I live is never a bad setting for the use of really any substance.
The friend with me, who I'll call 'Gemini,' as that's his astrological sign, bought us the liquor and we sat down in my dorm room to watch Ocean's Twelve. I got so tipsy on some decent Sake that my social anxiety was defeated to the point where my inner, very-social self was able to express itself without fear. There's always been for me what you'd call a 'Goldilocks Zone' between being tipsy enough to lower inhibitions and actual loss of motor control and coordination. It's a fine line, but not hard to dance upon if you study and understand yourself and your reactions to alcohol closely.
I was there and enjoying myself. Earlier in the day, I'd been reading about drug combinations. I wanted to see what Ritalin, vinpocetine, and alcohol would do together.
So, at 7.20pm, I orally ingested a pill containing 10 milligrams of methylphenidate (Ritalin).
I have to make clear at the outset, though: I know exactly what Ritalin does and the dangers inherent in it. Or at least, I had been prescribed to it for approximately a dozen years for ADD. I got off of it earlier this year because I realized that its use had been skewing the data for all my other drug experiments and that it being a part of my physical and psychological makeup prevented me from having the kind of 'baseline' personality other people do.
Ritalin, I recently realized based on observations of experiments with it after I went off it cold turkey in December 2006, causes emotional instability. In high school, I would spend hours and hours inconsolably crying for lack of a girlfriend or friends. I spent about three months obsessively and emotionally controlled by the problem of proving my own existence with the same fervor and despair. But the persistent and painful worry about not having a girlfriend or as many friends as I would've liked ended shortly after I left the drug. Though I've of course found other ways to deal with these problems, the Ritalin was a major factor and I've had less trouble with them since I left it.
But the trouble is still a potential in the drug, at least for me, it seems. One time during the past semester, I took a usual dose (20mg) just to see what its effect would be on me now that I've attained some sort of 'baseline.' Its effect was to engage me in existential questions like, 'What have I really done with my life? Who the fuck am I? Am I going in a good direction?' These questions plagued me until my mind felt like a large and confused knot which I had no idea how to fix (prefiguring what happens later on). In that particular situation, I called a friend of mine and he helped 'talk me down,' so to speak (this friend was unreachable for the latter experience).
Ritalin, I must add, also sometimes induces a separate kind of confidence, the feeling of having all the perfect things to say at the perfect times (because of the burst of energy it gives, as well as the boost in cognitive functioning). But this function is of course regulated by set and setting, as you'll later see.
Approximately fifteen minutes later, I orally ingested a capsule containing 10mg of Vinpocetine.
My experience with Vinpocetine has always been good. Because of the increased cerebral blood flow, it causes slight headaches (but of a barely noticeable kind) and has always given me access to more of my memory and in greater detail than normal daily experience tends to warrant. This instills in me a kind of confidence that helps with the social anxiety, because I'll always have something to say or to comment on. It has always inspired me to have what I call 'memory flashes,' where some association in my environment will activate a memory I hadn't accessed in a very long time, which I then remember in crystal-clear detail. It's also great because its effects are not just for the duration of its activity, I've found my memory access capability improved to an absurd degree post-Vinpocetine usage.
So, I picked up Simone De Beauvoir's 'The Ethics Of Ambiguity' and began to read it in as good a British accent as I could muster, I'm not sure why. This was the first appearance of the accent which would become the keynote of the whole evening, a master weapon against social anxiety.
We decided to head over to a bookstore that was fairly close by, and on the way we stopped to pick up some cigarettes for Gemini (hereinafter, 'G'). But first, I saw two friends of mine walking to a liquor store. I joined them and decided to mimic one of them, continuing my British accent.
It's funny, pretending to have an accent. Everyone responds to me differently. I can be my 'ideal self,' express that which is best in my personality or what I've always wanted to be but have been too scared (in whatever way) to be and do this by means of creating an entire new social persona to associate with my 'new accent,' and I have the added bonus of getting the attention of everyone around me because of how exotic I sound.
I was far more comfortable than usual with these friends, expressing myself in a dominant, confident, friendly way (all ideals of mine, the release valve for which was the Ritalin-Alcohol-Vinpocetine combo).
At this point, Gemini and I arrived back at his van and I decided I was having a +++ experience, if not an 'unrepeatable ++++.' Who knows if the joy I felt will ever or can ever happen again? This is true, though the social persona which I created was the larger success of the evening.
We went to the bookstore and I convinced at least half a dozen people that I was from London. All of my usual sociability that gets turned off or tuned down because of heavy introspection and social anxiety was gone, and I kept telling G that I was 'having the night of my life.'
There's a distinction my theology teacher of long ago made between 'self-consciousness' (when one is utterly conscious that everyone is watching, even to the point where they can't simply act, be, or express themselves) and 'self-presence' (which is what a musician does when he's on stage and no longer worrying about if he can play this or that chord, instead he expresses himself without caring who is watching or what is going on around him) which I've always found useful when thinking about myself socially. I wrote in my journal that what I was experiencing was 'Self-presence, beautiful sociality.'
When we left the bookstore, around 10.00pm, I noticed what could be called a negative side effect of this particular substance combo: dry mouth. I had been talking at a mile a minute for about three hours and there was no sign of stopping, so of course that might have been why this dry mouth occurred, but I found that even with copious amounts of water, the drymouth would return again and again. This of course could also be attributed to me continuing to speak without stopping.
I arrived back on campus, and Gemini left. I was supposed to hang out with a friend who I'll call Leo (excuse my penchant for using the astrological signs, but anonymity is obviously a value of mine here), but doing so led me in a dangerous direction psychologically. At this juncture, the beginning of the wind was sown that I'd later reap as a whirlwind. I should've stayed by myself, then concerns of sexual fulfillment wouldn't have ever crossed my mind.
Alas, I ended up on Fraternity Row, in a frat house at a frat party to which had been invited several beautiful girls. I should've just picked one, stayed with her, and 'taken my fill of love,' dismissing my usual concerns with beauty and that 'she must be worthy of me,' but I was so scatterbrained that my desires caused a level of frustration and anger the heights of which I seldom reach.
In any event, when I first arrived at the party, I had a lot of fun, drinking frivolously shot after shot. I estimate that when I finished, I had about a half-dozen shots of heavy liquor in me. The accent was a big hit, but I was flirting with the demon Choronzon: Dispersion, no focused goal of Will in mind before me, only ever-changing forms. I had this vague inclination to want to sexually satisfy myself, but it was not focused enough to actually accomplish anything.
I was so drunk at this point that a bug zapper (think of a tamer-than-usual Taser) was offered to me to hit, and I hit it not once - which was fairly painful - but twice, I don't know why.
I found a corner and sat Asana in the words of Crowley 'for the purpose of thinking one thought [by in a way turning off all other functions of the body by cognition],' which means that I knelt and stayed as perfectly still as one whose cerebellum and thus coordination and motor control are brilliantly impaired.
I was focused enough at that point to hear a conversation between two girls that was very enlightening. They opened up to each other, one of them saying, 'I'm sorry I've acted so strangely for the past few weeks.' This was an island of perfect lucidity in a sea of chaotic drunk moments.
Asana focused me perhaps far too much, and not on the important things. Many of my social inhibitions seemed back in place after this meditation of sorts, and the whirlwind began taking over.
I left the party, going to a room in one of the buildings on campus that is completely dark, where I usually go to do occult workings.
So, whatever emotional instability I had could've been modified by this room's eerie temperament, though I've been there many times for similar reasons before without problem. Any Thelemite out there will see what follows as an impromptu and uncontrolled Netzach working, and will thence understand why Crowley prescribed so many rules for meditation and Magick: if it is done without strict boundaries, severe emotional/mental/psychological pain or damage may result.
But this time, approximately 1.07am, my state of mind was way out of whack. I was frustrated with myself, and couldn't understand why nor could I even begin to figure out how to fix whatever was wrong. It was an impasse, and this is a common result of Ritalin use for me. It was my obsession with whatever composed my own sexual frustration that threw me into, appropriately enough, a despondent, crying fit.
There was nothing but my ego, my frustrations, my feelings, and my desires at that point. I had no idea exactly what was going on inside of me, but I was trying desperately to fight the utter despair that had hold of me. Banishing by means of the Star Ruby didn't quite work, allowing my Angry and Determined Self to fight it out with whatever was hurting me through utterly forceful roars and screams didn't help, and I ended up in perfect darkness on the floor with perfect hopelessness. I had lost all control.
Somehow, after about twenty minutes of yelling, kicking, and screaming, I got myself together, wiped the tears, and left the room.
On my way out of the building while walking down the stairs, there was an awkward encounter with a gentleman who I can only presume worked there during the day. He noted that he had heard 'Screams and kicks' from upstairs, and that he wanted to come make sure that everything was OK. I tried to evade his questions, but gave up and decided to tell him plainly and simply that I had been engaged in 'an occult working,' and that I had been reticent to explain because I knew that the moment I did, I would lose that space.
I passed out after reaching my room, still despondent but perhaps a little less so.
I awoke the next morning at 7am with a bit of a hangover - not bad, as I'd taken ~20-25mg of Ibuprofen last night before sleeping - and diarrhea. By 3.14pm, I was back to baseline completely.
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